Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mining magnate Munk admits to donating more than legal limit to Conservatives

OTTAWA - Mining magnate and philanthropist Peter Munk has admitted he donated more than the legal limit to the Conservative party three different times.

Munk, the founder of mining giant Barrick Gold Corp., signed a compliance agreement with Elections Canada earlier this month, acknowledging that in 2008, 2010 and 2012 his donations exceeded the maximum allowable contributions in those years.

The capitalist model for journalism is failing

The news this week that Rogers will send 200 of its TV, radio and publication workers packing is just the latest in a series of corporate media contractions that are bringing the entire system to the brink of collapse and forcing hundreds of media workers out of jobs across the country.

Just five companies -- Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Quebecor, and TELUS -- control nearly 90 per cent of Canada's media landscape.

Tories' Senate gambit shows Harper still runs the party and the party still holds Parliament in contempt

The Conservative Opposition's threat to use its majority in the unelected Senate to thwart the Trudeau government's plan to repeal two anti-labour laws passed when Stephen Harper was still prime minister is a very telling indication of that party's true commitment to the principles of democracy.

It is also a powerful signal of who remains in control of that party -- viz., Harper himself, not the supposedly kinder, gentler Rona Ambrose or any of her likely successors.

Bills C-377 and C-525, as they are still commonly known, were a couple of vindictive anti-union gestures dressed up as "transparency" and "choice."

'Scared' and Spied On Under Harper, Why Child Advocate Didn't Give Up

Fresh from victory at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Cindy Blackstock said she persisted with her landmark child welfare case for nine years because, "It's our job as adults to stand up for kids."

That, despite spending nine years feeling "tired and sometimes scared because of what the government was doing to me personally," she told The Tyee.

At least 50 police officers currently suspended with pay in Ontario

At least 50 officers with four of the province's largest police forces are currently suspended from duty for alleged misconduct, but getting a paycheque all the same, CBC News has learned.

The number of Toronto cops suspended with pay jumped to 14 on Thursday, when four Toronto police officers were charged in connection with allegedly planting heroin in a suspect's car and lying about it in court.

Months after the election, those chickens keep coming home to roost

It must be all the Kool Aid. You’d think that, by now, it should have dawned on the Conservative Party of Canada that it has more than a public relations problem in the post-Harper era. What it has is a full-fledged brand meltdown.

Their former leader was the most popular choice for worst prime minister in a recent poll conducted by Angus Reid. Even the pasta-consultant beat him, to say nothing of the throat-grabber and the middle-finger-flipper.

Canadian Economy Expands In November, But Half Of Industries Have Shrunk In Past Year

Canada's economy expanded by 0.3 per cent in November, Statistics Canada reported Friday, roughly in line with economists' expectations.

That gain followed a flat reading in October and a 0.5 per cent contraction in September. Canada's economy has showed significant growth in only four of the last 12 monthly readings from StatsCan.

Texas’ Devious Plan To Silently Kill Roe v. Wade

Wednesday, the Texas attorney general’s office sent the Supreme Court a blueprint for overruling Roe v. Wade without actually having to write the words “Roe v. Wade is overruled.” It is a heavy-handed, oafish appeal to the darkest fears of abortion opponents. It is also an absolutely brilliant bid for the one vote that matters in a major abortion case, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s.

No, The ‘Utah Compromise’ Is Not A Good Plan For LGBT Protections

Last year, Utah was the only state that advanced statewide nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, leaving behind 28 states that still offer no such protections. Utah’s legislation, however, included some rather unprecedented “religious liberty” carveouts, which many conservatives have since suggested should serve as a model for other states, particularly those wrestling against the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

State Gave Its Workers In Flint Clean Water As It Assured Residents Taps Were Safe

A state building in Flint, Michigan, had clean water quietly trucked in for government employees even as city residents expressed concerns about unsafe water, emails among state officials show.

Emails obtained by the advocacy group Progress Michigan reveal state officials acknowledging concerns about the water quality while brushing off residents' uneasiness. A memo sent Jan. 7, 2015, states that due to the concerns, "[Department of Technology, Management and Budget] is in the process of providing a water cooler on each occupied floor, positioned near a water fountain, so you can choose which water to drink."

Donald Trump Says He Can't Be Bought. His Record Suggests He Can

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump markets himself as the rare politician who can't be bought. He says he's the only candidate who's immune to the kind of backdoor access and palm-greasing that infects official Washington.

But the story of his charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, illustrates a different side of Trump. Donors give money to the foundation; the billionaire scratches their backs and uses their money to burnish his ego and, more recently, his political reputation.

Tyranny of the Israeli Majority?

Israel was founded as a homeland for the Jewish people. But it was also founded to "ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants," according to its Declaration of Independence.

Despite Israel's roots as a liberal democracy, within the next week, the Israeli Knesset will vote on a bill designed to stigmatize and harass progressive organizations. Under the pretense of greater "transparency," the bill creates a series of new requirements that target only Israeli groups that criticize Israeli government policy.